The importance of surgeons teaching anatomy, especially by whole-body dissection

Annette W Burgess and George Ramsey-Stewart
Med J Aust 2015; 202 (1): . || doi: 10.5694/mja14.00410
Published online: 19 January 2015

To the Editor: The reduction in anatomy teaching by whole-body dissection in medical education is a critical matter that has received substantial attention in the medical education literature.1,2 Where anatomy teaching by whole-body dissection has remained, there has been a marked move away from the tradition of such courses being taught by surgeons. A recent review of anatomy education in Australia and New Zealand showed that teaching of gross anatomy is now predominantly undertaken by non-clinical staff, including medical students, science graduates, physiotherapists and technical staff.2 Speculation has arisen that the teaching of anatomy by non-clinical staff may lead to a lack of depth in understanding of topographical clinical anatomy among medical graduates.2

  • Annette W Burgess
  • George Ramsey-Stewart

  • University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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